20 February 2012

NCAA week four

Parenthesis has top 100 record, with additional non top 100 losses. Other games are effectively meaningless other than margins and pace effects.
1) Kentucky (10-1)
2) Ohio State. (9-5) Bigger gap now between these two. Though OSU is still pretty solidly 2nd.

3) Kansas (11-5)

4) Michigan St (11-5)

5) Syracuse (15-1)
6) North Carolina (10-4)

7) Missouri (11-1-1)
8) Wisconsin (7-6-1).

9) Wichita State. (9-3-1)Still not sure how they aren't ranked yet in one of the polls, were barely in the other. They're finally 19th this week, which is decent. I wouldn't even put Mississippi State in the tournament right now and they were still ranked last week.

10) Duke (12-4)

11) New Mexico (7-3-1)
12) Georgetown (7-5)
13) Florida (6-5-1)
14) Indiana (8-5-2)

15) St Louis (7-4-1)



16) Marquette (10-5)
17) Baylor (10-5)


18) California (9-5-1)
19) Florida State (9-5-2)

20) Memphis (7-7-1)
21) Belmont (3-4-3). Mostly up this high because they lost by 1 to Duke, split with MTSU and Marshall (both solid teams), with both games on the road, and obliterated most everybody else.
22) Louisville (10-5-1)
23) Texas (5-9-1)
24) Vanderbilt (10-6-2)
25) UNLV (6-5-1)
25) Virginia (8-5-1)

Michigan is right outside of this group along with several other recognizable names (Gonzaga, Creighton, BYU, Kansas St). Then there's a bigger drop outside of the top 30.

NCAA did rather well with most of the bracketbuster schedule. Murray St versus St Marys was a good setup (both teams are roughly in the 30-40 range), Creighton-Long Beach was, predictably, a very good game. Akron and Oral Roberts, while neither is likely a deep run team, was at least a solid matchup between likely NCAA teams. I was glad to see Iona in the mix also (beating Nevada). Drexel and Cleveland St was supposed to be an even matchup. Wasn't. Missouri St also finally played its way off my list by losing at home to Old Dominion, along with Wyoming losing to Colorado State (who was already off my list). Illinois is also in extreme danger after getting blown out by Nebraska and a 6-9-2 record.

To put into perspective how weak the bubble is.
Texas has zero top 25 wins and a 5-9 record against the top 100. They'd be in.
Purdue has zero top 25 wins and 8-8 against the top 100. They'd be in.
NC State has zero top 25 wins and is 3-8 against the top 100. They'd probably make one of the play-in games.
Miami has one top 25 win, and is 4-8. They'd be in.
Northwestern has one top 25 win and is 6-10. They'd probably make a play-in game.
San Diego State I have ranked around 60, they'd be in by virtue of some good wins.

There are two possible arguments here. One is that more teams like South Dakota State, St Joes, or Drexel, even George Mason, that are likely on the outside looking in as at large teams still deserve to get in. Another is that they should probably shrink the field and that including several more mediocre bubble teams from these power conferences is of little value in terms of probable basketball performance. The basic problem is that a lot of teams like Miami or Northwestern probably aren't actually that great, but they get lots of opportunities to play home games against better teams. You can see Northwestern has 16 games out of 26 that are of consequence, compared to say, Iona, which has played only about 5 tough games out of 28. Iona would probably beat Northwestern.
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